“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Sometimes the doctor brings news you don’t want to hear. You want to hear something that gives you hope for a better tomorrow. I wanted to hear not only that my symptoms were caused by a real disease, but that there was some kind of cure or treatment that could heal me forever.
But that wasn’t what I got with my diagnosis.
When you are first diagnosed or learn that you are not getting better it is hard to find hope. But the Lord provides us with hope that there is meaning and hope for our illnesses.
When I first started having symptoms I struggled to find the reason for them. After going to numerous doctors I finally found an answer. Sure, I wanted reassurance that my symptoms were not physiological, but I wanted some easy magic treatment to end my pain. I was twelve and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with chronic pain.
But I learned that there was no magic pill and my pain may never go away.
I was told I had joint hypermobility syndrome which basically means I am double jointed to the point where I have chronic pain and muscle weakness. I would have to go to physical therapy and exercise for the rest of my life. I didn’t get the relief I thought I would have with a diagnosis. I wanted closure and hope, but hope is hard to find sometimes when you are ill.
What I have to learn–and we all have to learn–is that God is in control. Although chronic illness wasn’t in the plans we made, it was in God’s plan. We need to just let go and make the best of our situation and find strength in the Lord.
He has a plan for us and we can find hope and strength in His perfect plan.
Prayer: God help us realize that You have a plan for our illness. Though we may not see the reason now help us understand what You want to do through our illness. Amen.
About the author:
Brittany Alexander is a seventeen-year-old with celiac disease and joint hypermobility syndrome. She tries to not use her illness as an excuse. She enjoys math, computers, playing the clarinet and writing.
How has God used your illness for good?
We think that the answers will bring relief, but they rarely do. This song, “Everything is Beautiful” with Ann Marie Boskovich, is from the movie “Letters to God.” It is touching–and yes, sad–but remember that God hasn’t changed. Despite the heartache and the absence of understanding, when we look to God we can still see that everything is beautiful. -Lisa